Tags: Are | Black | People | Racial | Profilers?

Are Black People Racial Profilers?

Monday, 30 April 2001 12:00 AM

There is the age-old question "Can black people be racist too?" Now Jack E. White of Time magazine asks a similar question: "Are black people racial profilers?"

Following the uprising in Cincinnati, due in part to the fatal shooting by police of an unarmed youth, this case and similar ones raise the question of racial profiling. Jack E. White asks the reader to look at:

These are a few examples of not only racial profiling but also lousy police work.

But how many black people walk down an urban street and cross to the other side when they see a group of young black youths approaching? How many black taxi cab drivers refuse to pick up a black youth dressed in the typical "uniform" of baggy pants and baseball cap? How many black people lock their car doors when caught at an intersection late at night when there is a black youth on the corner waiting to cross the street?

The honest response is that we all have at one time or another.

Police dogs in the U.S. are being equipped with titanium false teeth. It is supposed to improve the bite and grip of Rover on anyone trying to escape the law. Isn't this a little overkill – or should I say, "overbite"?

The policy of most police departments in the country is to use police dogs to search and detain, not crush bones and rip flesh from suspects. Jim Watson, an official with the North American Police Work Dogs Association, said, "Having metallic canine teeth will draw a person's attention and scare them more."

Jim, I don't know about you, but the real canines that God gave these dogs is enough to scare the hell out of me.

The New Black Panther Party has got to be kidding. They want to keep former President Bill Clinton out of Harlem. They fear he will be the first wave of a white migration into what many black and white Americans consider the Mecca of black American culture and political life.

Maybe the New Black Panther Party is so neo they can't remember the "white welcome wagons" that used to greet some black people when they moved into newly integrated communities: comments like "There goes the neighborhood," "Property values will go down," "They'll want to date our daughters."

Now that I think about it, maybe the New Black Panther Party has a point (just kidding).

Why can't Americans figure out what is going on with former senator Bob Kerrey? His acknowledgment of his role in the killing of more than a dozen Vietnamese civilians is not only a pre-emptive strike to head off more critical accounts being published this week, but it is also an attempt to reconcile the pain and guilt of his actions three decades ago.

Image the nightmare of living with the knowledge of having killed unarmed women and children, being awarded the Medal of Honor, hailed as a hero, elected to the United States Senate, and being considered a presidential candidate and reliving those experience every day of your life.

Should Kerrey be tried for war crimes? If it were 30 years ago, he would have been tried. It is very unlikely he would have been elected to the U.S. Senate, received the Medal of Honor or been considered for commander in chief of the United States.

Except for the grace of God, he could have ended up like far too many Vietnam vets, homeless and in need of their country's undivided attention and care.

Many homeless men we pass on our streets are Vietnam vets. They served their country, came home to abandoned manufacturing plants that headed east as they flew west, heard the screams of "baby killers" as they walked though U.S. airports.

It is true many Vietnam vets got on with their lives like Kerrey, but I bet you my last paycheck many more had nightmares of what happened in the jungles of Vietnam.

We don't need a trial. We need a "Commission of Reconciliation," much like after the conflict over apartheid in South Africa. We need to hear from the Kerreys of the war, those who gave orders and those who had to carry them out. We need to do this not only for my generation, which has now produced two Vietnam War-era presidents, neither of whom served in Vietnam, but also for our children, so they will never repeat the same mistakes.

A strong person works out every day to keep his or her body in shape … but a person of strength kneels in prayer to keep his or her soul in shape.

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There is the age-old question Can black people be racist too? Now Jack E. White of Time magazine asks a similar question: Are black people racial profilers? Following the uprising in Cincinnati, due in part to the fatal shooting by police of an unarmed youth, this...
Monday, 30 April 2001 12:00 AM
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